October 10, 2008

Introducing…Douglas Kay Band

By Gary Flockhart

DIM the lights. Cue the dramatic sound effects. After a fortnight's voting, The Guide can announce the winner of our inaugural Battle of the Bands competition. And that winner is...

[Drum roll, please]... Douglas Kay Band for their track Better...

After gaining a whopping 52 per cent of the online public vote, the Edinburgh outfit will take to the stage at Cabaret Voltaire on Wednesday, opening for fast-rising indie-rockers Last Gang, themselves tipped for great things this year.

A distant second were local lads Rieser, with Rockstar, who got 17 per cent of the vote, while third place went to Faithful Narrator's I Want To Kill You But I Can't See You.

Kay, whose band also comprises Alex Hunter on bass and drummer and percussionist Hugh Martin, started playing acoustic gigs around Edinburgh in the mid-90s, going on to hone his performing skills in the coffee houses and bars of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa and Europe.

He says his extended travels have "given a wide range of influences and experience which inform my writing and have bolstered my performance skills".

His debut album, Of All The Towns To Sleep In, received airplay on BBC Radio Scotland, London station XFM (where Moving Target won the listener vote after featuring on the show X-Posure) and Australia's Central FM. The product of five months work in Edinburgh's More Human recording studio, the album also led to Kay's first Australian TV appearance in spring 2004.

April 2005 saw the band return to the studio to begin recording a new album. The following month he played at the prestigious T Break showcase gigs at Liquid Room, having been selected to appear from over 750 acts. Kay also made a number of Edinburgh Fringe appearances that summer with his band, and played a solo show in Glasgow as part of the MusicWorks Convention and Festival.

More recently, the three-piece have been working on a new album, due for release in November, and they've been playing various shows during the summer.

"We did a lot of shows on the festival circuit, so I suppose we're gig-ready, as it were," says Kay, adding that he's delighted - if a little surprised - to have one the competition outright. "I'd entered a similar competition before on XFM and won that, so I had an inkling we might do well. But I didn't enter expecting to win, so this is a real bonus."

Looking ahead, Kay says those going along to the gig can expect to hear tracks from the new album as well as some older songs. "It will be a mix of old and new, but of course we'll play the winning song," he says. "We're really thrilled to have won the support slot with Last Gang, and we'll try to give a good account of ourselves."

Don't miss next week's issue of The Guide for details of next month's Battle of the Bands competition, and how to enter.

Last Gang plus Douglas Kay Band, Cabaret Voltaire, Blair Street, Wednesday, 7pm, GBP 6, 0131-220 6176

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